Planning & Directing

So I had a lovely meeting with Fr. Chris Nerreau, pastor of St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church (Western Rite), today in Worcester and I can honestly say I am more excited about starting now than ever. It will be a lot of work but I think it will be most definitely worth it. I will be their organist, sometime cantor, and choir director (once I form a choir), as well as their seminarian, bulletin putter-togetherer, and subdeacon. I shall wear many hats, and all of them shall be grand.

My first Sunday I will start by introducing the sung Our Father, which up till now has been recited. The Kyrie, Gloria, and Sanctus shall be from the Missa de Angelis (a classic, beautiful setting of the Mass). The Agnus Dei, however, will be the one we use in Lawrence when Fr. Edward says Mass for us. Everything will be in English, minus the Kyrie which will be in Greek.

Then there are the hymns. 4 hymns for each Mass; Processional, Offertory, Communion, and Recessional. And I’ve even already planned them out. For those of you hymn buffs they are listed below as well as each prelude and postlude:

Aug. 30th

Prelude: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645 by J.S. Bach

Processional: #270 Be Thou My Vision

Offertory: #339 The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Communion: #152 Come With Us, O Blessed Jesus

Recessional: #267 All Praise to Thee

Postlude: Variations I, II, IV, & V on the Chorale, “Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig” BWV 768 by J.S. Bach

Sept. 6th

Prelude: Prelude on Rhosymedre by Ralph Vaughn Williams

Processional: #320 O Praise Ye the Lord

Offertory: #341 Thine Arm, O Lord, in Days of Old

Communion: #149 Author of Love Divine

Recessional: #267 Alleluia, Sing to Jesus

Postlude: Fantasia in G BWV 572 by J.S. Bach

Sept. 13th

Prelude: Prelude in G Minor BWV 558 by J.S. Bach

Processional: #322 O Worship the King

Offertory: #296 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Communion: #167 Thou, Who At Thy First Eucharist Didst Pray

Recessional: The Royal Banners Forward Go (to the tune “Deo Gracias”)

Postlude: Fugue in G Minor BWV 558 by J.S. Bach

Sept. 20th

Prelude: Adagio in G Minor by Remo Giazotto

Processional: #312 Now Thank We All Our God

Offertory: #247 Come, Pure Hearts, in Sweetest Measure

Communion: #159 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Recessional: #328 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Postlude: Prelude du Te Deum by Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Sept. 27th

Prelude: Berceuse by Louis Vierne

Processional: 268 As Pants the Hart for Cooling Streams

Offertory: 286 Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

Communion: 167 Thou, Who At Thy First Eucharist Didst Pray

Recessional: 326 Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven

Postlude: Fugue in B-flat Major BWV 560 by J.S. Bach

Hymn numbers correspond to the numbering in the St. Ambrose Hymnal.

Pray for me.

4 thoughts on “Planning & Directing

  1. I have to say, Ian, you’re stretching me. That’s a lot of stuff I thought I left behind when I joined the Church.

    I had no idea that “Western Orthdoxy” would sound so, well, “Western.”

    Because I have no idea what pre- or post- Tridentine Latin Christianity looked like, I have no idea what your services look like in toto. Nevertheless, what you’re describing sounds so bizarrely “Methodist” to me. Organs… choosing your own hymns… so strange. Next you’ll be telling me that you use azymes or multiple loaves or something. Bizarre!

    • What did you think Western Orthodoxy would sound like?

      Organs shouldn’t sound strange to you, they’ve been part of Western Christianity (and Eastern) for 1500 years.
      As for choosing your own hymns, this is something that is left to the discretion of the priest. I believe the majority of W.R. priests at the very least help in the selection of the hymns. In my case, Fr. Chris has been doing everything in the parish and asked me to take over the music portion. It is the job of any Orthodox church musician to be grounded in the Tradition of the Church and know what is appropriate, to know what sacred music truly is. The hymns I selected are also all from the St. Ambrose Hymnal which was put together by Western Orthodox musicians and clergy and all the texts and music have been thoroughly gone over to make sure they are truly Orthodox. Selecting music for the liturgy isn’t done in some random fashion, there are rules.

      I have selected these hymns based on going over the scripture readings for that particular Sunday, seeing who’s feast it is, and looking through the propers assigned to that day.

      And the W.R. uses leavened hosts, specially made for the Vicariate. So no funny business there.

  2. Because in the East the organ was always associated with the emperor and the imperial churches and chapels. We haven’t had an emperor in 500 years so you canunderstand why there isn’t an organ in Aghia Sophia anymore.

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